tv The Situation Room CNN July 2, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
newest pope saint. pop john paul died in 2005. i'm jake tapper on "the lead." i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." okay, the george zimmerman trial is now in recess after a medical examiner testified his wounds were not serious. also george zimmerman's best friend on the stand today, but the jurors actually saw him sweating. what happened? and one deadline passes, another one looming for the egyptian president mohamed morsi to meet the demands of the people as the
crisis worsens and the death toll climbs. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> let's continue the breaking news. the zimmerman murder trial has just recessed for the day, leaving even more questions about the prosecution's strategy in presenting their case. many of the witnesses called to testify today, as in days past, seem like they could be actually favorable for the defense, not the prosecution. among them, a chief medical examiner in the state of florida, george zimmerman's best friend and the lead investigator in the case. cnn's martin savidge was inside the courtroom for all of this testimony as it went down. he's joining us now. set the scene for us, another dramatic day, day seven of this murder trial. give us some of the major points. >> there were a number of them actually, wolf, and a lot of interesting testimony once
again. one of the last people to get up and take the stand was dr. valerie rao. she is a medical examiner. what is interesting, usually when you hear m.e. and taking the stand, you figure that person will talk about a body, an autopsy, talk about maybe trayvon martin and what could be learned from anything on his body. she did not. instead she went into great lengths talking about someone who is very much alive, that's the defendant, george zimmerman, and about the injuries that he suffered as a result of the altercation that he had with trayvon martin on that fateful night. specifically what she was getting to was she said she did not found his injuries to be significant. in fact, she talked about the wounds to the back of his head and said that it did not appear that his head had been repeatedly slammed to the ground, which is a key part of the defense because they say that's why george zimmerman had to shoot the team. he thought he was going to lose his life. here's some of the exchange in court today. >> you said earlier that those
injuries could be consistent with one shot. >> correct. >> and now i think you may have said it could be consistent with two shots. >> if the way it's depicted like you have depicted, yes. >> just so we're clear, you don't know how mr. zimmerman was hit by mr. martin, correct? >> correct. >> so it's consistent with one, correct? >> yes. >> and it's also consistent with two, correct? >> with the way it's portrayed, yes. >> so could you just say is it consistent with two as well? >> it could be, yes. >> defense attorney mark o'mara to walk back from some her testimony. and then there was witness of mark osterman.
he is george zimmerman's friend, a member of federal law enforcement, he advised george zimmerman to buy a gun and he at one point housed george and shellie zimmerman at the very beginning of the whole controversy. and the issue that's talked about on the stand is the gun, who was reaching for the gun. he recounts what george zimmerman told him. he actually wrote about it in a book in which he says that trayvon martin was reaching for george's gun on his hip and actually got a hand on it. listen to that exchange. >> trayvon martin went for the gun, correct? >> grabbed for the gun. >> i think you quoted him as saying he took his hand that was covering my nose and went for the gun saying something at that point, correct? >> he did. >> he said -- what words did he utter? >> he said "you're going to die" and used the mf term again. i'm sorry i don't like to curse
in front of ladies. >> and he used the term "you're going to die [ bleep ]" correct? >> correct. >> and you quoted him on page 29, under quotations "somehow i broke his grip on the gun when the guy grabbed it between the rear sight and the hammer. >> that's where the leather strap is, though. that's what holds the gun in. >> so he's -- the defendant is claiming that the victim actually grabbed the gun, grabbed the -- >> that was my understanding that he grabbed the gun. >> there's a reason the prosecution kept going over specifically about that because george is saying that trayvon reached for the gun, actually grabbed the gun. the prosecution is saying that there was no dna evidence and no prints that were found on that weapon, thereby george zimmerman is not telling the truth and
that is what the prosecution has consistently tried to show with his inconsistency of retelling of events. >> you know, it's interesting. i wonder if we're making too much of it, not enough of it. you were in the courtroom, martin. if it was very, very hot, i know it's very hot outside, but we did see mark osterman repeatedly wipe the sweat off of his brow. i wonder was it unusually hot? there today? sometimes when people see somebody sweating like that, they wonder what's going on. >> right. i think there is a lot of interpreting of that but the courtroom at that time was comfortable. there were people wearing sweaters, there were others wearing coat jackets. it was not exceedingly hot. the witness on the stand was sweating profusely. there's also a lot of nerves.
it's being televised across the nation. i'm not going to suggest why. >> let's dig a little deeper now. joining us to talk about what we heard, especially from that medical examiner on the stand, former broward county medical examiner is joining us. he was in the medical examiner in the 2007 death of anna nicole smith. also joining us, jeffrey toobin, marcia clark, prosecutor in the o.j. simpson trial and author of a new novel. doctor, let me start with you and play a little bit more of what we heard from the medical examiner. and then we'll discuss. >> it's your position that interest are at least three impacts between that head and
cement? >> yes. concrete. >> concrete. >> however, and you said it sort of consistent so i'm going to walk through it. i'm not going to use pictures now, let's just chat about it. i think you used the suggestion that if you hit yourself in the nose, it could be all one shot, correct? >> one blow, correct. >> you're not suggests that it was only one blow, correct if. >> no, but consistent with. >> you say consistent with to minimize the number of shots it could possibly be, correct? >> not minimize but if you gave me another scenario, i could look at that scenario and see if it's consistent. >> let me give that you scenario. he gets hit in the nose like this, just like that but it does not go up here. so here is the first shot and here's the second shot. how many is that? >> two. >> consistent with that picture? >> it could be, yes. >> is it any more consistent or any less consistent than the
fact that there was one shot? >> i'm sorry, i didn't get that. >> you said earlier that those injuries could be consistent with one shot. >> correct. >> and now i think you may have said it could be consistent with two shots. >> if the way it's depicted like you have depicted, yes. >> just so we're clear, you don't know how mr. zimmerman was hit by mr. martin, correct? >> correct. >> so you're saying it's consistent with one potentially. >> yes. >> and you said it also it consistent with two. >> it could be. the way it was portrayed. >> so could you just say it was consistent with two? >> yes. >> and it could be consistent with one? >> yes. >> or it could be consistent with a palm or another couple of hits with a fist that just didn't leave visible injuries. >> yes. >> so you're certainly not telling this jury that trayvon
in the face one time? >> i'm just telling you what the injuries are and what it's consistent with. >> doctor, you're a medical examiner with an enormous amount of experience. she was called by the prosecution but in the cross-examination she seemed to be helping the defense of george zimmerman. but i'm anxious to get your assessment. >> well, my assessment is very clear. the medical examiner is supposed to be an objective observer and not supposed to take sides. and if he's doing that, he's doing something improper. in this particular case basically the major question is a question of intent, whether it fulfilled the evil intention to commit the act. and medical examiner can sometimes conclude about that if there are marked gunshot wounds, if there are inconsistencies in the findings, if the person
threatens to kill someone. but this is a very different question the question of intent and in this particular case this is extremely difficult because there is no, as i see, any specific certainly not just physical evidence but circumstantial evidence which is showing it beyond any doubt. in other words, if there's a reasonable doubt, can you not convict someone, even if the person is guilty. and i think the medical examiner is proper in her behavior. >> so you think she did a good job. because one other point she did make in the cross-examination by mark o'mara that was an important point, she pointed out there were all sorts of wounds to george zimmerman's head, the front of his head, blood coming out of his nose, on the back of
his head. when she examined trayvon martin's body, there was obviously a gunshot wound to the heart but the other other wound she saws were some bruises on his knuckles, the impression we got from her testimony that maybe those bruises on his knuckles came from punching george zimmerman in the face. if that's her testimony, what does that say to you? >> well, it says to me that obviously there was some period of time during which the assault on zimmerman occurred. if there had been only one injury, there would be something which would be more or less continuous. there are several injuries in different places according to the medical examiner, this would indicate that even for what very short time there was some assault going on with very little injury on the other hand. now, this doesn't mean that zimmerman was not in fact the
assailant, but what it means is there's no evidence which prove it to such an extent that there's no reasonable doubt that he was really in fear of his life. >> let me bring jeffrey toobin in. what did you think of that whole exchange that the medical examiner who examined george zimmerman and trayvon martin, valerie rao, had in the direct questions by the prosecutor and then the cross-examination by the defense attorney? >> wolf, i swear i am not sitting here all days thinking of new ways to criticize the prosecution but yet this was another witness who was a so what witness in terms of, you know, proving whether george zimmerman is guilty of any crime. was he hit once? was he hit more than once? could he have been hit a whole bunch of times? yes. that's the conclusion can you draw from this testimony, which doesn't help the prosecution at all. i thought this witness was very conscientious, very knowledgeable, very fair and she
acknowledged that long after the fact based on the injuries that she saw in george zimmerman, she could not tell how many times he was hit, thus she is a very little to prove that george zimmerman, you know, committed this crime. >> so basically, jeffrey, your bottom line is she wound up in her testimony helping zimmerman, right? >> or neutral. there was plenty of other testimony during the day that i thought that helped zimmerman. i thought her testimony was sort of a wash. >> we're going to get to that other testimony in the course of the hour. let's, mark, what was your bottom line? >> well, as jeff riff says, neutral does not get a conviction. you've got to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. and once again the state seems to be neutralized with these witnesses. you also see them changing track. you saw them try to establish it was george zimmerman on top trayvon martin. as this case unfolded, it's
pretty clear it was trayvon martin atop george zimmerman. now we see them making a shift. they're going do have to accede that point if they're going to have any credibility with the jury and establish the fact that george zimmerman should not have been in fear for his life and he overreacted. but trying to do the other way around i think they're going to continue to lose credibility and it's a dangerous road for them to go on. >> marsha clark, at the beginning of the questioning, during the cross-examination of valerie rao, the medical examiner, the attorney made a point to say that she had been appointed by the county, raising questions about her credibility.
is that wise? >> it's good groundwork to neutralize the testimony that was not helpful and she did give some. she gave her opinion that the injuries on zimmerman were rather inconsequential, were nothing like life threatening and opined those injuries could have been made by one single blow, and then he hit his head on the pavement and that could have been the result of one blow. and that she found the injuries to be inconsequential, minor injuries, that's helpful to the prosecution as well. when he started out, mark o'mara would want to show some kind of bias on her part to undermine thosepinions and wound up getting better than that by having her concede that there were possibilities that the injuries were more significant than she attributed or at least were the result of more blows
than she opined about. i do think she was helpful to the prosecution. a slam dpung, no. but she added something to this. i this i in a case like this, you're going to have a lot of these instances where a witness adds to the prosecutions about bu also adds to the defense. it frequently is the case in criminal trials that evidence has two sides to it and there's an upside and down side to everything and she's no exception. >>. >> sand by because we have a lot more to discuss. we're going to hear more of the testimony of george zimmerman's closest friend, when he heard george zimmerman say the night praf praf was killed. and weep also heard from george zimmerman in this trial today. once again on videotape. stand by, more analysis coming up. ♪ ♪
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this is the best friend of george zimmerman, mark osterman, on the witness stand today. >> then he claimed that mr. martin, trayvon martin, was still on top of him and took his hands and put it over his nose, correct? >> one hand was trying to cover his nose, one hand was trying to cover his mouth to keep him from screaming. >> and i think you quoted trayvon martin takes one of his hand and puts it over my nose and pinches my nose and the other hand over my mouth. >> make not look that. >> so trayvon martin is using one hand over his nose and one hand over his mouth. >> something to that effect. >> what does mr. zimmerman say
happened then? >> he said because his jacket rode up a bit, that with perhaps the inside of his leg he felt or looked down and saw that he had a holster and a firearm. >> okay. before he -- the defendant said that, did he say that he desperately got both of my hands around the guy's one wrist and took his hand off my mouth long enough for me to shout again for help? >> right. that was the main thing he did with his hands was to try to clear his mouth. with his mouth free he could scream and breathe. he said he went for the gun. >> he said trayvon martin went for the gun, correct in. >> grabbed for the gun. >> you said he took my hand that was covering my nose and went for the gun. >> he did. >> what words did he utter? >> he said "you're going to die"
and used the m.f. term again. >> let's go to your analysis of how george zimmerman's friend did today. did he help the prosecution or did he help the defense. >> one thing we know for sure is he's his best friend. if you're the prosecutor and you're going to call the defendant's best friend, you better have an awfully good reason because you know that defendant is going to -- you know that friend is going to shade his testimony in every way to help the defense. i don't think he was a particularly powerful witness for the prosecution. the idea behind himself testimony is to show that there were inconsistencies in how zplimman has described the attack. you know, whether trayvon martin really went for the gun or not and the order in which events took place. i followed this trial carefully. i didn't see glaring ensent acies. so what you had was this extremely sympathetic witness
talking about how george zimmerman was telling the truth and what a good person he was and maybe you got some inconsistency out of it but they didn't strike me as major inconsistency. >> apparently what mark osterman said, what he had been told by george zimmerman is that trayvon martin actually got his hand on the gun and then he managed to get it out of his hand, whereas in his own testimony george zimmerman never said that trayvon martin got his hand on the gun. >> exactly. those are the inconsistencies that you're going to have, the state has to put together to put together a case. you're probably not going to see george zimmerman taking the stand right now. he's got five different statements that have come out so there are no reasons to.
they'll lay together the various statements he's made and bring out the consistencies. the prosecution tried to lay a foundation for the fingerprint expert to so that in fact there were no fingerprints on the gun and again that george zimmerman overreacted to the situation and did not need to kill trayvon martin because he was not grabbing for the gun and there's no independent verification of that. >> is that a major inconsistency, marcia, that zimmerman said he felt that trayvon martin was reaching for his gun and never got it, whereas this best friend said he actually got to the gun and fought for the gun. how big of a deal is is that? >> if you believed it, that would be a big deal. that's a glaring inconsistently. someone who never gets clo to the gun versus someone who
touches the gun. the problem is if i'm a juror, i don't buy the testimony. i'm not sure how this helps the prosecution. i look at it and i say, number one, he's his best friend so he has a certain bias. number two, he didn't take notes. he heard the statement from george zimmerman while he was drying somewhere, here to there and he quote it all down sometime later, months later and in the interim had no contact with george zimmerman in order to confirm that that was actually what he said and that it was accurate. for the purpose of putting it in his book, which, number four shows an effort and bias to sell books and defend his friend. if i'm on the jury, i go wash. i don't know if i believe it and if i do, i ascribe it to something a lot less than george zimmerman's desire to create or fabricate a story.
>> stand by. there's more to discuss, including the judge earlier in the day striking testimony by the lead detective in the case from the record. what happened? our panel of legal experts is back if a moment. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms
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happening now, the death toll climbs as the clock tks for mohamed morsi is to meet the needs of the people. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." let's get some more testimony from the lead detective in the case, chris serino, who was back on the stand for a second day answering questions about whether he thought george zimmerman was racial profiling
trayvon martin. our legal panel is back with us. i'm going to play the clip. this was at the end of his testimony yesterday. chris serino, the lead detective in the case. listen to what he said. >> is there anything else in this case where you got the insight that he might be a pathological liar? >> no. >> as a matter of fact, everything he told to you date had been corroborated by evidence that you were already aware of in the investigation that he was unaware of. >> correct. >> if we were to take path logical liar off the table just for the purposes of this next question, do you think he was telling truth? >> yes. >> very significant moment, do you think he was telling the truth? yes. then all of a sudden at the start of the trial today before whatever was going on, the -- they met with the judge, debra
nelson, and then they decided to do this. >> ladies and gentlemen, my instruction to you is that that is an improper comment by a witness as to the truth and veracity of another witness and you are to disregard the question and the answer. >> let's bring back the panel and jean casarez, i'll bring you in first this time. that's hours later. the jury heard chris serino make that assertion and many, many hours later on the next day, the judge says that is not really admissible. what does that mean? >> that's a great point, wolf, they slept on it, right? you see, the prosecution didn't object when it was made yesterday and they must have lea slept on it and that's when they asked the judge to strike this and we want to you read an instruction to the jury because this is an opinion and the jury may rely more heavily on a law
enforcement officer's testimony. but what stands is any inconsistencies he believes were minor and there were no inconsistencies he believes in regard to george zimmerman and the witness statements. >> marcia clark, you're a former prosecutor. how unusual is this that 12 or 17 hours later, all of a sudden it dawns on the prosecution that maybe we should ask this comment by the lead investigator be stricken from the record? >> i don't think it took them 17 hours. i think they heard the question, heard the answer. they probably had the hesitation moment should i object? any time you object, you do underline the moment. if you don't want to draw more attention to, it you're a little bit hesitating. they probably thought about it five minutes after recess and thought i should have had it stricken because now they can argue it to the jury in closing argument, so get it stricken. i think in theer he they should
have objected to the question before the answer came out, it an improper question, an improper answer. the jury is the trier of fact, they determine credibility, they decide what is truthful and what is not and what should be believed. it's unfortunate that came out. unringing the bell i don't think is possible. but what i'm hoping the prosecution will argue about this is this is a guy who got in an awful lot of trouble -- one of the many, not just him. but this office got in trouble for not filing the case for begin with. there was a big, long delay and a great deal of outrage about the fact that there were no charges filed. for him to say anything other than the fact that he believed george zimmerman's story only puts him back in the hot seat for not having filed the charges to again with. he kind of has to defend himself that way. >> those jurors, the six women on the jury, they're human beings. they heard the testimony. you can say from now until
forever the are human beings. they're going to remember what they heard. >> and think about the whole context of the testimony. this was the lead investigator in the case. when i was a federal prosecutor, we called it the case agent. it was the person who sort of summed up the prosecution's case, put all the most incriminating evidence in front of the jury, if that is possible. and here we're having a conversation about how the lead investigator was giving evidence that was so pro-defense that it wound up being inadmissible. well, efficiency gave pro defense evidence as well. i frankly have never seen a situation like this in any criminal case ever where the lead investigator turns into a character witness for the defense. >> have you, mark nejame, a day later the prosecutor asking that
the statement be stricken? >> i do take a different twist i heard marcia say and that is that only one person is allowed to make the objection. even though you've got a team of lawyers there, i think the prosecutor simply missed the objection and when they counselled afterwards and realized how the prosecution had gotten so beat up by their lead investigator, they go that wasn't permissible anyway so they did their best to salvage it. i don't think they can salvage. i think they got to cooperate it by bringing it in through the back door once the judge read the instruction. this particular investigator was almost singularly the one person who wanted zimmerman prosecuted. he recommended manslaughter charges. the irony continues to baffle
me. the lead investigator wanted the charges brought, the state attorney said no and yet he's been pro defense, very >> can i ask a question that i'm interesting turn of events. confused about, wolf? >> yeah. >> does the jury know about this business about whether the investigator wanted manslaughter charges filed? >> i can answer that. >> marcia, tell me. >> jean, go ahead. >> there was a motion in limine before this trial began that is disallowing the opinions of law enforcement, those in governing rule in this area as to whether they wanted or didn't want a prosecution. >> that's what i thought. because, you know, the idea of a -- >> it doesn't matter what his opinion was about whether the charges should be filed. the jury doesn't know that. so he's just the lead investigator as far as the jury knows and he's testifying in effect for the defense. >> and in essence -- >> go ahead, marcia. >> and in essence, giving his
opinion about the truthfulness or lack thereof of a witness is really not his place to do regardless, whether he has a motive to support zimmerman's credibility or not. the fact that he wanted manslaughter filed is still in conflict with what was filed, second degree murder. it's very unusual a defense attorney would risk asking a lead investigator do you think a defendant was truthful or not? just an incredible set of events. >> at the end of day seven, a lot of people would have been on stronger ground going with with a manslaughter charge remember than second degree murder, which is much more difficult to prove. stand by, we're going to continue this conversation but we're also watching huge breaking news developing out of cairo right now. you're looking at pictures.
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that he has been in office, in effect going forward and asking his people to give him more time to deal with these issues. as you know, millions of people are on the streets of egypt, whether in cairo or alexandria or elsewhere. supporters of morsi, many of them from the muslim brotherhood and elsewhere, as well opponents, a lot of secularists and others who are deeply, deeply angry at him. they want him to step down, step down right away. president obama has weighed in and called mohamed morsi, the president, yesterday while he was still in africa, urging early elections, dealing with this in a democratic fashion. we're monitoring what president morsi is saying right now. i'm sure everyone in egypt is listening. we'll see where we go from here. the military, egyptian military, which is so powerful an institution in egypt right now, the egyptian military is basically saying to morsi, you got to move on, you got to deal
with this, you have until tomorrow. basically otherwise the egyptian military is going to step in. stand by. we'll let you know what morsi says. we'll get back to cairo in a moment. our reporters are standing by as well. in the next hour we have full analysis of the historic moments unfolding now in egypt. but let's get back to the zimmerman trial, day seven. we're back with our legal panel. jeffrey, let me start with you and ask you this question. once again the prosecution allowed the interview that george zimmerman gave sean hannity of fox news to be played in court, an interview that was sympathetic to george zimmerman and the case that he's making. explain why you believe the prosecution allowed more actual statements from george zimmerman, even though these not on the stand and can't be
subject to cross-examination? >> wolf, you can't ask me these hard questions because havei hao idea. i thought it was, again, helpful to the defense. maybe some of those jurors really don't like fox news so they won't like sean hannity. but other than that, i suppose someone who is following the ins and outs incredibly closely could identify some inconsistencies between the version he told sean hannity and other versions he's told. but they certainly didn't jump out at me and, again, i thought it was showing the defendant in a sympathetic environment without any opportunity for cross-examination, putting forward at least on the surface a credible version of what happened on this tragic night. >> what was the strategy, jean, of the prosecution in allowing this videotape to be played before the jurors today? >> it's just another inconsistency, but i agree it was tough to see inconsistencies just jump out.
and i was really focused on the jury during this. let me tell you, it's a big multi-media screen. so you're watching a full movie screen as you're watching all of this. and remember george zimmerman was described as meek by one of the witnesses today. and you saw a meek person as they were talking right there in the minds some. the jury was not taking notes but the minute it was over with, and it took a while, they started writing notes in their notebook from what they had just watched on the screen. >> did you see some inconsistencies that would be beneficial to the prosecution, mark, in that interview that george zimmerman granted to sean hannity? >> as a background i thought that was a terrible mistake to let any client go on tv and give a statement because you know it's going to be used against you. but they very well may have lucked out. the issue is that he came across looking not like a depraved individual, not with evil intent. he came across as a decent guy,
at least outwardly. some things could offend some people that, it was the will of god. that could be a big issue for some people. not having any regrets and not doing anything different. some people could look at it the other way, that he didn't have any regrets because it was his life or trayvon martin's life, that's what he believed. the inconsistency about whether he reached for the gun and george zimmerman said after the fatal shot was fired, he rolled ahead of trayvon martin and laid his arms out. there's no other witness anywhere that says that his arms were later tucked in. because when the first responders came, they showed trayvon martin's arms were not laid out but that they were atop him. it does show a reason why because it shows why he would
mary snow is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on? >> in arizona a growing memorial to the 19 firefighters killed in the yarnell fire sunday. the only surviving member was rving as a lookout when the wind shifted trapping his colleagues. autopsies have to be completed before the bodies can be released to the families for funerals. asylum options for snowden are dwindling. he has to be inside borders to consider the request. three other countries have flat out said no. and russia says snowden has withdrawn his request for asylum there. he is wanted by the u.s. for
revealing details of surveillance programs. and russian officials are investigating what went wrong with this rocket launch which ended in a fiery explosion. you see it beginning to nose dive just seconds after liftoff in kazakhstan. there's no word of injuries on the ground. the rocket was carrying three satellites into orbit. wolf? >> thanks very much. coming up, the lead detective, the medical examiner, the best friend. they were all on the stand today in day seven of the george zimmerman trial. stand by. also here's a question. why is paula deen invoking the proposition 8 decision in her own lawsuit for harassment? jeffrey toobin is standing by. ♪
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very unusual legal twist in the lawsuit that triggered paula deen's down faul. a former employee there claims she was subject to a hostile work environment part to the use of deen's use of the "n" word. saying the plaintiff in deen's case doesn't have standing to sue over the racial epithet because she's white. let's get more from analyst jeffrey toobin. is the thought here that a white person can't be offended by a racial slur at another race? >> yes, that's the presumption. but that's not the law. the courts have consistently held that a hostile environment can include racial slurs and bigotry against all sorts of
people. so that is not going to get this case thrown out. i'm not saying this case has any merit. i certainly don't know. but that claim alone that the proposition 8 case somehow helps paula deen, i don't think that's what's going to end this case if this case ends at all. >> because obviously if you and i were both white, if we heard someone in a work environment use the "n" word we would be deeply, deeply offended. and that would be horrible. >> that's right. and there are lots of cases that say the insults don't have to be directed at you personally, they don't have to be directed at whatever ethnic group or racial or gender that you are. a hostile work environment can be created in a number of ways, and that's not -- that's not a stand -- that's not a winning standing argument. it is true that every plaintiff in federal court needs standing, but proposition 8 is not going to help paula deen.
>> where does she go from here? what does she hope to achieve by making this argument? >> well, you know, they always make as many arguments as they can to get a case thrown out. and it may well be that this case has no merit. i obviously have no familiarity with the working conditions in paula deen's operation. but a white woman is legally allowed to complain about a hostile work environment that includes racial epithets, and so she will have the opportunity to prove that. whether she can or not is of course a separate question. >> we're going to have you back in the next hour. going to continue our analysis on the george zimmerman trial as well. stand by for that. by the way, the woman who brought the lawsuit against paula deen is breaking her silence. in her first statement lisa jackson says and i'm quoting her now. this lawsuit has never been about the "n" word. it is to address ms. deen's
patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior. i may be a white woman, but i could no longer tolerate her condemnation of mr. heirs' despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis. i am what i am. i am a human being that cares about all races. and that's why i feel it is important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs. happening now, prosecutors try to undercut the claim of george zimmerman. our analysts are ready to dive into today's testimony. egypt on the brink. a new appeal from their embattled president. will it ease the crisis or will it explode? and new help for firefighters in arizona where a wildfire is raging uncontrolled. we're talking to the family of one of the 19 firefighters who died in this inferno.
i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." it's been a jam packed day in george zimmerman's trial. a close friend of zimmerman and the lead detective of the case on the stand. focusing on the question, did zimmerman murder trayvon martin or did he shoot him in self-defense? our analysts are standing by to talk about which side scored the most points with the six jurors, all of whom are women. let's go to our correspondent who has been covering the trial. he was in the courtroom for much of the day. martin savage is joining us now. what a dramatic day day seven has been, martin. >> reporter: each day has brought its own uniqueness. and if you've been following this closely, new insights. today we had the medical examiner who testified. the medical examiner was that
actually giving her professional opinion on the injuries that george zimmerman has suffered. keep in mind the prosecution for the past couple of days has been trying to use the words of george zimmerman against him. today they were apparently trying to use the wounds of george zimmerman, the injuries that zimmerman maintains he suffered at the hands of 17-year-old trayvon martin. and the prosecution was trying to make plain here that the medical examiner didn't think those wounds were severe or matched the account that george zimmerman had had given. especially about his head being slammed on the ground. listen to this exchange. >> using your definition of slamming, your common understanding of slamming, are the injuries to the back of the defendant's head consistent with having been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface? >> no. >> why not? >> because if you look at the injuries, they are so minor that to me the word slammed implies great force.
and this resulting injuries are not great force. >> what type and extent of great force would you expect to see if the head had been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface? >> if somebody's head is repeatedly slammed against concrete with great force, i would expect lacerations. i would expect a lot of injury that would bleed profusely that would necessitate suturing. i don't see that in this picture. >> reporter: george zimmerman was maintaining, of course, he had to shoot trayvon martin because he was fearing he was going to lose his life. he was so severely having his head beaten against the ground. chris serino was back on the stand again today. and the issue that came up was the position of trayvon martin's arms. the reason it came up is that george zimmerman says that after he shot trayvon martin, he then
jumped on the teen and pinned the teen's arms down because he thought that the teen could still be a threat. here's some of how the discussion went in court, the testimony. >> you recall also upon examination defense counsel asking you about inconsistencies or consistencies, correct? >> correct. >> do you recall the defendant in the interview that he gave you and investigator singleton stating after he had shot trayvon martin, trayvon martin said ow or something and put his hands up. do you recall that? >> yes, sir. >> and do you recall how he said trayvon martin fell on the ground face first, you recall that? >> yes, sir. >> and you recall the defendant saying he put his arms out, correct? >> correct. >> you recall him saying that? >> yes, sir. >> do you recall, sir, the first person to came out before the officer, joe manalo.
>> jonathan. yes. >> do you recall he took some photographs out there? >> yes, i remember those. >> and one of them was state's exhibit 77. >> yes, sir. >> may i approach directly. and you recall in that photograph the victim's hands being underneath his body? >> yes, sir. yes, sir. >> could someone say that was inconsistent with the defendant's statements that his hands were straight out, that he put his hands out? >> that positioning, yes. >> i'm sorry? >> that position as seen there, yes, it is. >> reporter: an attempt to show another inconsistency with zimmerman saying he had the arms outstretched but the arms of trayvon martin were folded under his body. >> dramatic testimony, indeed. don't go too far away. i want to bring in our legal
analysts sonny hostin, mark najim, and jeffrey toobin. sonny, i want you to weigh in on what we just heard. what did you think of day seven in this dramatic testimony? >> in my view, wolf, day seven was a win for the prosecution. i mean, they came out of the box swinging certainly by getting serino's statements that he felt that george zimmerman was truthful. getting that stricken from the record. getting instructions to the jury they were to disregard it. then they went on and on and on getting serino to concede so many of the prosecution's points. one, they said you know what? if you profile someone as a criminal, that's profiling, isn't it? he conceded that point, wolf. he also conceded that he believed george zimmerman was following trayvon martin. he then conceded that that behavior could be considered ill will, hate, spite.
which is one of the elements that the prosecution has to prove. then he also, you know, got him on -- the prosecution also sort of delved into the fact that george zimmerman said he had to get outside of the car to get an address that was right in front of his yies. and finally the piece he just showed that he went over this testimony or at the same time rather by george zimmerman that trayvon martin's arms were out when, in fact, his body was found with his arms underneath it. it was win after win after win. concession after concession after concession. i thought that the redirect of this witness was masterful. and i don't even know that the jury is going to remember anything that happened yesterday. >> i know you totally disagree, mark, with sunny. but tell us why. >> totalmost totally. i think the state has some good points. i think the defense did as well. but it could have been malice.
it could have been evil intent. could have, would have, should haves don't get you a conviction. you have to prove it through evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. if we're at the level where the best we could get from a state where their primary witness, their lead investigator is it could happen? where's the evidence? where's the proof that's going to sustain a conviction? no. i think that they had a few points. and sunny appropriately pointed out some of the good ones. i spoke about his arms being stretched out in one version and underneath on another. i do think that's an inconsistency there. but with all that said, we saw a man who was quiet. we saw a man who came and presented himself well. that he ended up having a nice friend, his best friend who is a former sheriff's deputy and working as an air marshal. he came across as a decent guy.
you didn't have this rage that here was this man with evil intent and evil motive. you ended up hearing his stories. they're relatively consistent. i don't think you could have anybody matchup every time on everything. by and large he gave a consistent story. i don't see where the state has given enough evidence to meet their burden beyond a reasonable doubt. i just don't see it. >> jeffrey, when sunny was making her points win after win after win for the prosecution today, i seem to -- i think i saw you raise your eyebrows there in sort of disbelief. but tell us what you think. >> i think that sunny is correct that there were certain points that were made, but the overall impression i had, anyway, was you had sean hannity doing a very sympathetic interview where zimmerman got to lay out his case in anre he said in
a sympathetic way that george zimmerman did not mean to kill trayvon martin. and then, you know, you had an expert witness who said maybe he punches him once or a couple times. where it's just -- i don't see where the guilt is here. i don't see where evidence of a murder is being presented in here. now, it is true that if the jury wants to pick through the evidence and find incriminating items as sunny said, they are there. but the overall impression i got -- and again, perhaps i'm wrong -- was that this case is not going in well for the prosecution. >> quickly sunny, button it up. >> i completely disagree with jeff. and jeff knows i value his opinion and he's a friend, but the bottom line is this is the second week of this case. i think today was a seat change for the prosecution. these cases are like puzzles. you're putting a puzzle together without the benefit of the box that has the picture on it. at the end of the case, generally all the puzzle pieces are together and you see the
picture. for me, i'm seeing that picture. there are a couple little pieces missing, but not much. i think in closing arguments the prosecution is going to wrap this up. they're going to overlay all of these different inconsistencies in george zimmerman's statements. and i got to tell you, i do see that the prosecution is going t be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. >> a lot of people suggesting maybe they would have been better off with a manslaughter case opposed to second degree murder. we'll continue this conversation down the road. guys, thanks very much. we're also following other major news this hour. we're going life live to egypt where antigovernment protests are growing and growing. mohamed morsi has been speaking to people on television. stand by. new information on egypt coming in. also, the nsa leaker's days in russia, we are now learning may be numbered. new information about his struggle to find asylum. coming into "the situation room."
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and the breaking news is it's after midnight in egypt. the unrest is unfolding. thousands and thousands of antigovernment protesters are gathered in tahrir square. the embattled president mohamed morsi, he's been pleading with his nation to give him more time to address the demands of his opponents who want him to step down and to step down now. listen to what he said only moments ago. >> translator: the people gave me they chose me in a free election. the people created a institution and gave me the mandate as the state gave me the mandate and requires me to stay with the constitution to preserve this
constitution. i have no other choice but to bear responsibility. violence and shedding the blood, this is -- if we full enter this it will not end. >> president morsi is underneath enormous pressure right now from the millions of protesters out there right now. also under enormous pressure from the egyptian military. and even some pressure from president obama. our senior international correspondent ben widerman is joining us from cairo right now. he's been watching what's going on. he's joining us on the phone. it looks like he's begging the people in this television statement that he's delivering that he's begging them for forgiveness. a. >> i wouldn't go so far. i think what he's saying is he is going to hold onto the position and is not going to step down. and he's using the shield of what he calls democratic legitimacy.
the fact that a year ago, 52% of the egyptian electorate voted for him and he is the legitimate president of egypt. he said twice that he is willing to shed his blood to defend that legitimacy. so there's no indication in the speech that he is willing to step down or to even offer an olive branch to the millions of egyptians who are now in the streets of cairo, alexandria, and other egyptian cities. and he seems to be ignoring the army call for the opposition as well as president mohamed morsi to settle the differences and get down to the hard work of running this difficult country. and brings ever closer to possibility that the army will
as they warned in that ultimatum yesterday that they would then use their own road map for egypt if the politicians can't come to some sort of agreement. so definitely this only raises the temperature. now, interestingly enough, tahrir square at the moment has gone a bit quieter. it's still a bit noisy. i think people are waiting for him possibly to put out some final message of reconciliation before they give their verdict, but i suspect that when this is over, we're going to hear a very negative out in tahrir square. >> ben has been watching it unfold. he's in tahrir square. don't go too far away. let's bring in christiane amanpour. and fareed zakaria.
i know you were listening to the speech wel. when he said yes i have made some major mistakes over the past year. but i have learned from those mistakes. but as ben points out, no indication he is ready to step down. >> exactly. it's been pointed out quite the opposite. and just before this speech, he under his name, under the presidency sent out a tweet calling on the military to reject or rather withdraw their ultimatum. so we've been talking to experts and analysts, opposition people, and morsi people throughout this day. and certainly the morsi people feel that we're going to hold fast. we have the legitimacy as he kept saying of elections, the first free and fair elections in egypt on our side. plus he kept saying 64% of the people ratified the constitution in a referendum. and therefore i have the mandate. now the opposition has decided
it's not interested in negotiations with morsi and told us tonight they will stay on the streets until he goes. many people believe that he has now lost his legitimacy. that if millions of people in the street have signed onto a petition to have him go, then that is a massive demonstration of popular will. but i think most people believe that this will never be resolved to any sense of satisfaction unless there is a national reconciliation. and really the question is what does the army do? it's not likely to stage an all all out coup. where it will di solve the constitution. tomorrow we're going to know
what happens. dissoli di >> i know you studied this situation very closely, fareed. here is the fear some are expressing. you have millions of people on one hand that want morsi to go away immediately. you have others including members of the muslim brotherhood. they say they've been waiting 80 years for the brotherhood to have this kind of power and they're not going to give it up now. how concerned should we be that the demonstrations -- the millions on one side, the millions on the other side with the egyptian military now deeply involved that we could see a lot of blood shed? >> this is a very volatile situation. and i think that it could get a lot more volatile. precisely because of what christiane was saying. play that out. if the army were to do the things that christiane was suggesting they might. remember, 52% of the company did vote for morsi. the muslim brotherhood appears to be the best organized political movement. it may not command a majority of the public, but it is very well
organized. and these guys are going to feel that after 80 years and after having won an election, they are being deprived of it by a cue data. and they will be outraged there. and how the does army deal with that? the best case scenario is to not come out with something draconian like that. but instead we want a dialogue and committee to look into revising the constitution. a lot of what's happened here, wolf, is the democracy is a lot more than just winning an election. and the muslim brotherhood has not recognized that it has to take into account the 48% that didn't vote for it. that there are many people who feel that the constitution was rammed down the throats of a lot of egyptians. that it contains within it many characteristics. things that are the muslim brotherhood's islamic agenda written into the frameworks of
laws. so there has to be some process that allows for if not a redo, at the very least the process of amending the constitution and the muslim brotherhood is forced in some ways to cooperate with these other forces within society. because if this becomes a confrontation, remember the muslim brotherhood also has enormous strength itself. so this will not be as easy as dislodging a mubarak. >> christiane, the speech by morsi is now wrapped up. you see his supporters, they're waving flags. they are thrilled by what morsi had to say when he said he is not stepping down. he's not going anywhere. on the other hand the opposition, they are very furious at morsi. yesterday president obama called president morsi to make his pitch for democracy for early elections, if you will. but i'm sort of struck by the lack of u.s. influence on what's
going on in egypt right now despite all the u.s. aid that's been provided over the years. but give me your thought. >> i think you're absolutely right. president obama has been in touch with president morsi. the president of the joint chiefs has been in touch with his egyptian counterpart. there's $30 billion of aid in play. but it's a lot of -- a lot more than that. this is a very key, real sort of building block, sort of stone of the middle east region of that area. it's not only a strong u.s. and western ally. and actually in foreign policy, morsi is considered to have done a good job vis-a-vis relations with the united states and with israel. so i think that's really very important to bear in mind. i think to what fareed said, it is true that the muslim brotherhood is the only party in egypt. let's not forget this. there are no parties in egypt. that is one of the reasons the muslim brotherhood won. but it has shown a great party in opposition. but a completely incompetent party when it comes to trying to
run and govern and to having overextended itself. i think that's a problem and that's a problem for the opposition as well. because they are divided and disunited. and to be honest, they don't have a completely coherent message other than he must leave. but there is no political party. there's no way to sort of have anybody else challenge morsi. so that poses the interesting question to what happens if there is an interim situation. also analysts are saying and they're being very concerned about this. let's say that there is a new election. and let's say that islam will win again. and let's say the next is more hard lined than a muslim brotherhood winner. so there's a backlash that could happen. having said that, it is clear that morsi has lost his legitimacy. and thus the crisis. and we'll wait to see how it plays out. >> the next 24 hours, 48 hours to be sure could be critical. you guys will be back with us.
thanks very much christiane amanpour and fareed zakaria. up next, new information coming in. we're mapping the last options snowden has lef. also the first ladies michelle obama and laura bush steal the spotlight from their husbands today in africa. i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options.
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happening now. the nsa leaker now running out of options in his hunt for a safe haven from prosecution back here in the united states. also raging flames and a heart break in arizona. we're talking to a family of a fallen firefighter who lost a husband, the father, and the life they knew in an instant. and the obamas and the bushes and their love fest in africa. surprising remarks when the first ladies get together. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." now it appears edward snowden may not be in russia much longer. been on the run for weeks after spilling secrets by the u.s. government. has been told he can stay in the country only if he stops leaking
information. snowden is reportedly not willing to accept. so if russia is not allowing him to stay, where can snowden go? his options appear to be dwindling. some have said they will deny his request unless he shows up at the border or in an embassy. breaking down snowden's options for us in our virtual studio. tell us what you're seeing. >> his options appear to be breaking down by the hour. he's been at the moscow airport for ten days now. we know less now about where he's going than we thought we knew when he arrived. here are the countries that are in discussion he might be taken in and given safe harbor. but how realistic are the names on this list? let's bring in the globe and talk about this a bit.
we're going to talk with iceland. this has been talked about a great bit. why would iceland possibly be a good choice? you can take a look and see why it might be a good choice. they're sympathetic there. there's a lot of sympathy to the idea of political dissidents in general. it's close to the moscow airport. he wouldn't have to fly over a big area and run a risk in that process. there are voices speaking in his favor in iceland, but here is the trick. the government there has effectively said no to him without even saying no. what they said as you mentioned a moment ago, if you want asylum in iceland, you'll have to come to icelandic soil to request it. so it would be a gamble to go there and hope it played out. let's look at another possibility here. china. this is one of the great big players in the field here. china has some reasons that they could say yes to him. let's look at that folder and see what those might be. among them would be a power play. this would be a way to say to the united states, look, we're a big superpower. you're not going to call the
shots on this. we do what we wish. intelligence. maybe he has more secrets to spill that china might like to have. but there's also a negative here that he has to contend with. china is a big world trading partner. they're a big influential trading partner in the world. they may not want to risk all of that just over this guy. bear in mind, he already left hong kong. >> what about latin america? are they still effectively in play, tom? >> yeah. the latin-american countries could be in play. let's look in latin america, we talked about ecuador for awhile. that seems off the table. bolivia seems to be in talk. but venezuela seems to be the one mostly talked about. why would that be workable? it would allow them to take a poke at the u.s. which they don't like much in the moment. he would be a bargaining chip they could pull out in the future by saying we've got this guy that you want. but -- and this again is
important. look at the third item there. since hugo chavez passed, there have been some slight warming relationships between the u.s. and venezuela. so we'll put this away and look at the list one more time. and look at how many names really don't belong on that list anymore because they don't really seem to be in play. and many of the others may still be a long shot. wolf? >> tom foreman taking a look at list for us. let's bring in jill doherty. there was a lot of speculation about bolivia that maybe he was on the flight from moscow back to bolivia that was making a refueling stop in europe. what's the latest? >> i hope you were paying attention because it's getting more complicated as we speak. so bolivia and venezuela were in for an oil conference. the rumors were maybe he's getting on the plane and
leaving. so the bolivians take off. they wanted fuel in europe. but they're not allowed to. so they have to set down in vienna and refuel. so the foreign minister of bolivia is saying it's the -- number one, he's not on the plane. >> they're saying he's not. >> and number two, it's the united states that is, you know, unduly influencing the countries to not let us land. this gets curiouser and curiouser. >> what about the state department saying? >> what they're doing is they are contacting -- won't give a list. they won't go down that list. but they say they are talking with all sorts of countries that could either be a destination for him or they could be a transit point. and they are urging them, same thing they've been saying for days now. look, he broke the law. he ought to come back to the united states. you shouldn't let him in. or you should. if he happens to get there, send him back.
>> and if you don't, you'll pay a price in terms of u.s. relations with your country. >> implicit. yes. >> that the u.s. is making blunt. i think it's pretty blunt that the obama administration whether they say it publicly or directly through diplomatic channels. you do this, you pay a price. jill, thanks very much. coming up, the widow of one of the 19 firefighters killed in arizona struggles with what to tell her children. stand by. the interview coming up. unh ♪ ♪ ♪ hey! ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ [ male announcer ] you can choose to blend in. ♪ ♪ yeah! yeah! yeah! or you can choose to blend out. ♪ oh, yeah-eah! ♪ the all-new 2014 lexus is. it's your move. the all-new 2014 lexus is. i asked my husband to pay our bill, and he forgot. you have the it card and it's
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still totally uncontained today. spreading in the mountains northwest of phoenix. 19 elite firefighters were killed in that blaze sunday. and their loved ones are just beginning to face their pain and their enormous loss. our brian todd is in arizona. >> reporter: julian ashcraft can't sleep and barely knows what to say to her young children. in an instant julianne became a widow. her emptiness complicated by helping her young children deal with the loss of their father. >> it's just a lot of faith, a lot of prayers. but i don't plan to move on and leave behind. i plan on finding a way to incorporate andrew in our life now that's different, that's more of a spiritual and a mental and emotional presence. >> reporter: andrew ashcraft himself had so much of life
ahead. just 29 years old when the fire suddenly turned on him and 18 other firefighters. >> choice may have no memory of his father when he's older. what are you going to tell him about andrew? >> well, their dad is amazing. and i will tell them every day of their lives how much he loves them. but he's here. i look in their faces and i see him. they look just like him. they act just like him. and there will be days that's great and days i'm sure i'll pull my hair out. he was full of life and energy. >> reporter: andrew's mother debra is feeling the same pride. she can't say enough about the dedication and heroism of andrew and the other granite mountain hot shots. a s.e.a.l. team 6 of firefighters. >> what was your thought about the fact he perished with those guys together? >> it's an honor. last night when i was praying,
because i always would text andrew when he was having a fire be strong, be wise, be safe. i said, okay, god. i don't understand it. but thank you that he wasn't alone. thank you he was -- that they were together. >> reporter: they had done everything together, deborah says. ate, slept outside, and trained. the loss of andrew ashcraft is also being felt here at captain cross squn fit where ashcraft and five others lost in the fire worked out regularly. trainer janine pererro worked with all of the hot shots here. >> it's just really heart breaking and sad to know that
they're all gone. the whole crew. >> reporter: a loss in one household that andrew's mother puts in perspective. >> i have my husband, i have my daughter, i have my oldest son. but julianne, ryder, shiloh, tate, choice, they don't have andrew anymore. i mean, choice is one. will he know him? but that's hard. >> reporter: also very difficult for the one member of the hot shots who was not killed. a young man named brandon mcdonough who was working as a lookout and was on the move when the others got caught in the fire. we have tried unsuccessfully to contact brandon mcdonough. but we are told he is devastated. >> we're all devastated just hearing that report. our heart goes out to all of those families. what a heart breaking story.
and our deepest, deepest condolences. brian todd on the scene for us reporting that news. a teenager lands in jail for a threatening facebook message. was he serious about shooting up the school or just a joke gone horribly wrong? and life inside the president's club. a look at the relationship between president obama and his predecessor the former president george w. bush. la's known definitely for its traffic, congestion, for it's smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the busses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. [ whirring ]
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together. the two made a joint appearance in africa today to remember the victims of the 1998 tanzania embassy attack. it's the latest installment in a publicly very pleasant relationship between the bushes and the obamas. let's bring in cnn's athena jones. she's been taking a closer look. these men seem to be getting along very, very nicely. >> that's right, wolf. it's not just the men. first lady michelle obama and first lady laura bush also look like they were having a great time today at a summit where they got together to talk about their experiences in the white house and as leaders in their own right. >> reporter: president obama and president bush side by side in tanzania to honor victims of the 1998 embassy bombing. their views on fighting terrorism have moved closer. obama having adopted many of bush's tactics. >> then you need to vote for barack obama for president in november. >> reporter: back in 2008, candidate obama used president bush as a foil.
>> en though people know george bush has done a miserable job. >> reporter: but 43 has had little to say about the job 44 is doing. he told cnn why. >> don't want to criticize the obama administration. is that something you've really made a decision not to do? >> i don't think it does any good. it's a hard job. he's got plenty on his agenda. >> reporter: it's also been a criticism-free zone for the presidents' wives. appearing at a summit of first ladies, they bonded over lives in the white house and their position. >> i want to encourage every first lady to speak up and speak out and let people know. because people are watching. >> we have probably the best jobs in the world. because unlike our husbands who have to react and respond to crisis on a minute-by-minute basis, you know, they come in the office with a wonderful profound agenda and then they're faced -- >> with reality.
>> on the other hand, we get to work on what we're passionate about. >> they joked about the frequent focus on what they're wearing. >> while people are sort of sorting through our shoes and our hair and whether we cut it or not. >> reporter: whether we had bangs. >> but we take our bangs and we stand in front of important things that the world needs to see. >> reporter: and they talked about what it's like to live in the white house. >> there are prison elements to it. but it's a really nice prison. >> but with a chef. >> you can't complain. >> reporter: of course for first ladies, that really nice prison also means having a global stage, wolf. >> i know there's new information coming in on the president's health care law, obama care, that they're beginning to absorb. tell our viewers what's going on. >> reporter: this just came out today. the obama administration is now
saying that companies with more than 50 employees will now to provide health coverage under the affordable care act, instead of doing so by 2014. they'll now have until 2015 and they won't be penalized for not providing insurance before then. in that blog post, i mentioned the assistant secretary for tax policy said the administration was taking this step because of, quote, concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need to implement them effectively. the post went on to say we recognize the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it's easy for others to do so. we've listened to your feedback and we're taking action. we know the department will be providing more details on this within the next week. >> explain the politics what we've just learned. >> certainly, critics say this just proves that this law, this healthcare law, that many people were opposed to is unworkable and unwieldy.
this looks like another setback, at least this year delay. >> i'm sure the republicans will claim victory as far as this is concerned, at least see what happens. thanks very much for that information, athena. a teenage boy is now locked up in a texas jail after writing on facebook that he was thinking about shooting up a school. police have charged him with making a terrorist threat, but his family says it was all a joke. cnn's alina machado is following the story. tell us what's going on here. >> reporter: justin carter's mom tells me he became involved in an argument while playing an online game. she said the argument spilled on to social media, and what he wrote online landed him in jail. >> the idea that my son would ever hurt small children is just ludicrous. he never would. he's not that kind of person. >> reporter: jennifer carter says her teenaged son, justin, has spent nearly five months behind bars for a sarcastic comment he made on facebook. a comment she says was taken out of context. >> someone said to justin,
you're crazy, you're messed up in the head, and his response was, oh, yeah, i'm so messed up in the head, i'm gonna go shoot up a school. then he posted lol, which stands for laugh out loud, and jk, just kidding. >> reporter: according to court documents, this is what carter posted online. it says, in part, i think i'm a shoot up ama kindergarten and watch the blood of innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them. police in austin, texas, launched an investigation after receiving an anonymous tip. carter's mother says her son was arrested at work that same day. >> we honestly assumed that once the police spoke to him, they would understand that this was just a joking comment that he had made, and that it wasn't serious. >> reporter: but justin carter was charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony. his case has yet to come to trial. court documents show he lived less than half a mile from an elementary school in new braunfels, texas. defense attorney dan flannery
says police searched carter's apartment and found no guns, no bullets, or documents professing hate. >> it may have been a crass thing to say. it may have been inappropriate. but that sort of speech is protected by the first amendment. >> reporter: his mother says her son is on suicide watch and is in solitary confinement after being assaulted in jail. >> it's very hopeless and very depressed and very scared. it's very hard. to hear your child hopeless. >> reporter: now, carter remains in custody on a $500,000 bond. his mom says he does not have a history of mental illness. now, meanwhile, he initially had a court-appointed attorney. flannery tells us he took on the case yesterday pro bono. wolf? >> keep us up to speed on this case. there's high interest around the country. thanks very much. coming up, an unforgettable change for a baby ape in cincinnati. yes, jeanne moos is coming up. what makes the sleep number store different?
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but for all these symptoms, you also take kaopectate. new kaopectate caplets -- soothing relief for all those symptoms. kaopectate. one and done. a heartwarming story about a baby ape at the cincinnati zoo. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: what mama gorilla could possibly reject this, but gladys' real mom did, so these humans at the cincinnati zoo took over. >> today, for the first day, we stuck her on her back. >> reporter: you might remember seeing them crawling around, giving her a bottle, rough-housing gorilla-style, all the while wearing fake fur vests from a company called fabulous furs, that normally advertises the wow factor for humans. at least they didn't have to wear a bunny costume like anderson cooper did to please a couple of banobos. >> i brought you presents.
>> reporter: because the bunny happens to be their favorite character. it allows gladys to cling to the moms as if they were gorillas. they call the process -- >> gorillaification. >> reporter: they also had to learn to speak gorilla with disciplinary calls and belches. >> gorillas make these when they're content. [ growling ] >> reporter: and when she was sassy or nippy, displaying glditude. they have the outdoor habitat. even a fake fur vested reporter. >> she just paid on me. >> reporter: she showered him, they showered her with affection. they introduced gladys through what they call this howdy mesh to four gorilla candidates, only one of whom would take over as gladys' gorilla surrogate mother. the winner was a gorilla maimed
malindsey, who had been an excellent mom to her own baby, but this wasn't love at first sight. >> gladys got nervous at one point and bit her a couple of times, but she was very patient. >> reporter: after a week or so, malindsey was carrying gladys around, grooming her, comforting her when she got upset. though gladys still probably doesn't appreciate being dragged out of a good nap. gorillaification is a one-way street. after the humans hand gladys over to her own kind -- >> we don't take her back. she's in there for good. >> reporter: and evans says he'll miss holding her. >> gladys isn't our baby. gladys isn't a pet. gladys is a gorilla. >> reporter: will he miss dressing up like a gorilla? >> no, i still do it every saturday night. >> reporter: somehow it feels like the father giving up the bride. >> oh, my. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> although gladys was at first reluctant to leave her human surrogates, she's now bonding nicely, we're told, with her new mom. that's it for me.
thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next and live from sanford, florida, dramatic testimony today in the george zimmerman murder trial. on the stand, zimmerman's best friend. also, the lead investigator in his case, and the medical examiner who describes zimmerman's wounds and trayvon martin's. also, paula deen and the controversial defense she plans on using in her discrimination case. two words -- prop 8. and then, the "n" word. it is a topic that is trending on twitter. how our cnn special last night literally got the world talking. let's go "outfront."